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Abdul Quader Mollah

December 15, 2013 by · Comments Off on Abdul Quader Mollah 

Abdul Quader Mollah, An opposition leader convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971 was executed Thursday, a move that raised fears of new violence before next month’s elections.

Abdul Quader Mollah was hanged at 10:01 p.m. local time, said Sheikh Yousuf Harun, chief government administrator in Dhaka, hours after the Supreme Court rejected a last-minute appeal.

Mollah’s Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, immediately called a nationwide general strike for Sunday.

Hundreds of people gathered at a major intersection in Dhaka to celebrate the execution, saying it delivered justice for crimes committed four decades ago.

Mollah, 65, is the first person executed after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 began trials for those suspected of crimes during the country’s nine-month fight for independence from Pakistan in 1971. The government says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the war.

Most of the defendants are opposition members.

In February, a special tribunal convicted Mollah of killing a student and a family of 11, and of aiding Pakistani troops in killing 369 other people in the war. He was sentenced to life in prison, but the Supreme Court changed that to a death sentence in September.

Until it gained independence in 1971, Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan. Mollah’s party campaigned against independence.

His execution had been placed on hold Tuesday night just before he originally was to have been put to death, but the court rejected his final appeal.

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